A seriously silly weekend hackathon making absurdly unuseless musical instruments in the Augmented Instruments Laboratory of Queen Mary University in London. A calamity of improbable designs emerged and ridiculous explorations ensued. My starting point was a collection of pool noodles needing a new lease of life. From these I created a solo work - the narwhale-inspired immersive experience - as well as collaborating on various audionoodle oddities, my favourites being the ambisonic chamber with Pete Bennett and his noodle improv score cue bot.
See videos and more from the event here.
What is a narwhale-inspired immersive experience? I recently learnt that the large `sword' on a narwhale's head is in fact an elongated tooth and extremely sensitive to touch and vibration. Narwhales use this tooth to sense information in their surroundings and possibly to communicate too. They can even detect the depth at which they are swimming through its sensitivity to pressure. My unuseless design wondered if we humans could explore our own environment through a synthetic tooth containing embedded sensors that generate oceanic musical feedback (to inspire the next generation of pool noodle cyborgs?). It was great to develop e-textiles sensors with and inspired by Hannah Perner-Wilson and play with variable whale sounds with John Bowers who were our wise (and absurd) mentors.